Cologne

A classic Christmas break

4 hrs 11 mins from St Pancras Int'l with a quick change in Brussels

Dates: 21 Nov – 23 Dec 2016

Boasting not one but seven Christmas markets, Cologne offers a beautiful backdrop for a long weekend of Christmas shopping and festive indulgence, German-style.

Set against the imposing gothic Kölner Dom, the main market in Alter Markt is the perfect place to pick up hand-made Christmas decorations and children's toys, while the oldest market (ironically found in Neumarkt) offers more luxurious gifts and high-end treats.

For something a little bit different, head to the harbourside – stopping by the chocolate museum en route – for a nautically-themed market complete with sea shanties and pirates.

With everywhere wreathed in the cinnamon-y scent of lebkuchen and glühwein though, you might be hard pressed to drag yourself away from the cheery food stalls and cosy cafés. Prost!